|Author Jim Hinckley autographing books for clients of
Australian based Route 66 tours.
Meanwhile, as the City of Kingman prepares for the Route 66 International Festival and I get serious about work on the next book, the ebb and flow of activity along the old double six is reaching a fevered pitch.
Dale Butel is once again on the road heading east toward Chicago where he will meet with the summer tour group and commence another memorable Route 66 adventure. He and his wife, Kristi-Anne, run a tight ship and as a result their Route 66 Tours are quite popular with folks from the land down under.
Visiting with Dale and his crew, and having the privilege of speaking with each tour and answering questions, is always one of the highlights of our summer season.
Rich Dinkela, AKA Roamin’Rich is off on another two lane adventure. This time its a bit off Route 66 but his adventures are always a source of inspiration for a road trip. The link is for his YouTube channel.
Several years ago my dearest friend and I were privileged with an opportunity for an adventure with Rich and a few friends in Missouri. That quest for a long lost motel that included a wonderful breakfast at the now vanished Zeno’s with remains a favorite memory of the Show Me State.
Acclaimed collector, author and radio personality Joe Sonderman, and one of our breakfast companions at the now famous Zeno’s breakfast, has released two books this year. We always look forward to an opportunity for a visit with Joe and this year the bonus is that he will be traveling to the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman with his charming wife.
Joe’s first release this year was the latest in a series from Arcadia Publishing. Route 66 in Illinois, was a joint project with archivist Cheryl Eichar Jett that would be a valued addition to any Route 66 enthusiasts library. It should be noted that Cheryl will also be a featured author at the Route 66 International Festival.
Meanwhile, the Brenner’s are moving forward on bringing new life to the Roadrunner Lodge in Tucumcari and the Greer’s are engaged in a similar endeavor with the Frontier Motel and Restaurant in Truxton. It may be a bit late in the season before either property is ready to again welcome guests but both will be delightful additions to the Route 66 community.
As more people discover the odd blending of Haight-Ashbury minimalist lifestyle and classic American mom and pop free enterprise capitalism that is building a business on Route 66, many old properties are being given a new lease on life. To assist in this Ron Hart of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce is now listing business that are for sale on the chamber website.
Even though the chamber of commerce is basically a one man show, it is rather amazing how much is accomplished for the Route 66 community. After the recent tornados in Baxter Springs and Quapaw, Ron launched a Route 66 Cares initiative as a fund raiser for communities devastated by natural disaster.
It is my sincere hope that Ron will move forward on endeavors to make this a true chamber of commerce for the Route 66 community. Ron will be a speaker at the Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future conference at the Route 66 International Festival.
Another worthy cause for support is the National Historic Route 66 Federation. This organization often flies under the radar but their list of accomplishments is rather impressive.
In addition to a delightful publication provided to members the federation is also the publisher of very popular EZ 66 Guide for Travelers by acclaimed author Jerry McClanahan and the Route 66 Dining and Lodging Guide. Both titles are available through the federation’s on line store.
With all honesty I can say my dearest friend and I never travel Route 66 without copies. As a bonus, Mr. McClanahan provides his contact information in the guide and is readily available to answer questions or sign copies if you stop by his gallery in Oklahoma.
Festivals and events, tours, and new books, it seems there is always something going on along Route 66. If your unfamiliar with its allure and charms, perhaps this summer would be an ideal time to make a voyage of discovery. And if you see the old road as a familiar friend, perhaps this summer would be an ideal time to become reacquainted.